DePaul University  

Mission

Deepen our Commitment to DePaul's Catholic, Vincentian, and Urban Mission

DePaul's mission distinguishes us among the finest Catholic universities in the nation. This mission defines our identity, determines our actions, and grounds our goals. Our primary enduring commitment remains in taking intentional action to sustain and further institutionalize our Catholic, Vincentian identity. The Vincentian question "What must be done?" calls us to take action in service of others as we prepare students to contribute to the collective good.


Mission is the University's Grounding Force

DePaul lives its Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission like no other institution. It is steeped into the university like an apple in the cider St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac may have shared some 350 years ago as they pondered what must be done about the issues of their day.

Beyond accomplishments that can be measured precisely, the university has undertaken a wealth of activities to strengthen mission presence and practice.

Already the worldwide epicenter for Vincentian studies, DePaul has added yet another element to buttress that distinction and advance its goal of shaping students' civic orientation in the image of our patrons. DePaul has hired renowned scholar Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée from the Sorbonne Université in Paris as the inaugural Holtschneider Endowed Chair in Vincentian Studies.

Named to honor DePaul's 11th president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., this new endowed chair ensures the university will continue to discover important lessons from St. Vincent, St. Louise, the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity.

Brejon de Lavergnée penned the definitive history of the worldwide Company of the Daughters of Charity, and has written extensively about Frédéric Ozanam and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. At DePaul he will teach, develop new courses and enhance the Vincentian Studies curriculum with a fresh perspective rooted in his deep study of Vincentian texts. Scholarly audiences and those with a more casual interest in Vincentian values can now explore the Vincentian question in new ways.

Freshman Core Characteristics
2016-2018 Entering Classes
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Freshman Mission Chart

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Mission in Action

The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) is one manifestation of the distinctive way DePaul lives its mission. IGH develops local leaders, fosters knowledge sharing, and advocates for change in addressing homelessness. A signature initiative, "A Place to Call Home," is piloting an approach to end street homelessness by 2020 in 13 large cities on six continents. With insights gleaned from these experiences, the effort will be expanded to 150 cities worldwide to achieve by 2030 what evidence shows is a solvable problem.

In Chicago, DePaul students are concretizing this mission by contributing several hundred thousand hours of volunteer service to the community each year. In 2018-19, service-learning classes delivered about 75,000 hours of targeted professional practice expertise requested by community organizations to fill specific needs.

In 2018-19, service-learning classes delivered about 75,000 hours of targeted professional practice expertise requested by community organizations to fill specific needs.

The College of Law alone provided more than 7,000 pro bono hours of legal assistance and volunteer service last year. Law students assisted veterans and their families at Edward Jr. Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, staffed the college's virtual legal clinic with Illinois Legal Aid Online and dispensed suggestions on Saturday mornings from the legal help desk at Grace Place in the South Loop.

DePaul's practical style of empowering communities through service is accomplished through the Vincentian lens, seeking out the powerless and finding innovative ways to deliver on the American promise of social justice. As it has since 1898, DePaul is thriving as a 21st century institution grounded in mission.